Whipped cream is useful, sweet and really tasty. However, the digestive system of animals, and cats in particular, are very different to humans. So, can cats eat whipped cream? Is it safe? Let’s find out..
Can Cats Eat Whipped Cream?
No, generally, cats can’t eat whipped cream. Small amounts of whipped cream on a rare occasion can be fine for healthy cats. However, whipped cream contains ingredients that do more harm than good for cats. Therefore, it would be best to find a healthier alternative snack.
Unlike people, cat’s bodies cannot tolerate dairy products, sugar, etc. Whipped cream mostly contains ingredients that will not benefit cats. While humans can enjoy sweet foods, a cat does not have the receptors to enjoy sweet foods like whipped cream. In fact, whipped cream will likely cause health issues in cats, which is why people should avoid giving their cats whipped cream.
Why Is Whip Cream Bad for Cats?
First of all, most cats are intolerant to dairy, which is similar to an allergy. Lactose intolerance can cause many issues, like upset stomachs and diarrhoea because the digestive system will not process dairy. When cats consume dairy, they will feel pain and discomfort. Lactose intolerance in humans works similarly in cats, so finding alternatives and avoiding dairy altogether is ideal.
Sugar lactose is a sugar found in most dairy products like cheese, milk, and whipped cream. A cat’s lactose intolerance refers to the fact that they cannot digest sugar lactose the way non-lactose intolerant people can. Keep in mind that not all cats are lactose intolerant. However, a huge majority of cats are lactose intolerant, so it is best to stay on the safe side.
If cats try to eat dairy, it can remain undigested in their stomachs, which will make it ferment and produce gas. Because of the excess gas, the cat will experience excessive flatulence and stomach cramps. Also, the cat can get diarrhea because lactose will be an undigested sugar that brings water into the cat’s intestines.
Even if your cat is not lactose intolerant, whipped cream has other ingredients that can also negatively impact a cat’s health. The cream contains a lot more fat than regular milk, which is not helpful for a cat’s health. Therefore, cats would get no beneficial nutrition from whipped cream.
Whipped cream also contains sugar, which is harmful to cats. Sugar is not natural to a cat’s diet, so their bodies will react negatively to sugar. Sugar causes issues like discomfort and vomiting, like lactose. Sugar can also cause tooth problems and diabetes in cats.
Most whipped cream brands contain corn syrup, and corn syrup will act like sugar in cats. Corn syrup can throw off their blood sugar, which is especially bad for cats with diabetes. Other brands of whipped cream may contain artificial sweeteners, but sweeteners like xylitol can cause a cat’s blood sugar to fluctuate.
Whipped cream also contains a lot of calories, so even a small portion of whipped cream can make your cat go overboard on calories. One tablespoon of whipped cream contains about 51 calories. The average cat needs about 20 calories per pound of weight, and the average cat weighs 10 pounds, so the average cat would need 120 calories a day. By giving them even one tablespoon of whipped cream, you would give them almost half of their caloric intake with no nutritional value.
Since whipped cream contains a lot of calories and sugar, it can be harmful to cats, especially if the cat is obese and has diabetes. Obesity can greatly shorten a cat’s lifespan and lead to other health issues. Obesity in cats is widely preventable, but many cats are obese because of overfeeding, certain food products (like dairy), etc.
Whipped cream also contains carrageenan, which helps retain the texture of some foods like whipped cream. Carrageenan is a carcinogen, and in high amounts, it can cause cancer, which is why it is not in pet foods. However, carrageenan will likely be in most whipped creams, so pet owners ought not to give it to cats.
Most premade whipped creams, particularly the canned types, contain nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide is laughing gas, which is a common anesthetic used in places like dentist offices. Nitrous oxide helps whipped cream come out of the can. It can make humans feel dizzy, and the effects will likely be stronger in cats since they have smaller bodies.
Most brands of whipped cream contain vanilla extract, which cats should avoid. Vanilla extract contains alcohol, which is ok for humans but toxic to cats. Cats can develop liver issues if they ingest too much alcohol. Additionally, cats can develop ethanol poisoning if they consume products with alcohol in them. Ethanol gets absorbed quickly in a cat’s gastrointestinal tract, causing lethargy, vomiting, dehydration, hypothermia, etc.
It is important to note that whipped cream can make cats feel full. If a cat feels full, it will not feel the need to eat its regular nutritional food. If cats do not get enough proper nutrients from their normal diets, they will likely develop deficiencies. Therefore, it would be best to skip whipped cream and let cats focus on their normal diets.
Are There Benefits to Feeding a Cat Whipped Cream?
There are no benefits that cats can get from eating whipped cream. There are no beneficial nutrients cats can get from whipped cream, especially when compared to their regular diets. Additionally, cats cannot taste sugar, so they will not enjoy the “sweet” taste of whipped cream. Therefore, your cats will likely not have a preference for sweet foods like whipped cream anyway.
How Much Whipped Cream a Cat Can Eat
On extremely rare occasions, you can give your cat a quarter teaspoon (preferably less) of whipped cream. Keep in mind that whipped cream should not be a regular treat for cats. It would be best to give them that amount every other month. It would be best to find a healthier treat to give your cats.
Certain cats may not react negatively if they eat a small amount of whipped cream occasionally. However, that does not mean pet owners can give whipped cream to their cats regularly. Regular consumption of whipped cream can pose negative impacts to a cat’s health, which are easily avoidable.
Feeding Kittens Whipped Cream
Kittens are more vulnerable to disease and conditions than adult cats, so sticking to their mother’s milk and proper kitten food would be best. As mentioned earlier, cats can develop stomach issues, weight gain, diabetes, etc., from whipped cream. Therefore, a kitten would be more likely to develop those problems when they eat whipped cream.
Kittens get enough milk from their mothers when they are young, so they will not need extra nourishment, especially from other animal’s milk. Additionally, kittens will eventually wean off their mother’s milk, and they will slowly grow an intolerance to milk. Cats do not naturally have access to milk in the wild, so giving your kitten dairy like whipped cream will not benefit them.
Can Cats Eat Different Kinds of Whipped Cream?
There are different types of whipped cream, like homemade, squirty, heavy, etc. However, cats should not eat any kind of whipped cream. Even if people made their own whipped cream at home without sugar or vanilla extract, it would still contain a lot of dairy, fat and calories that negatively impact your cat’s health.
Can Cats Eat Other Kinds of Dairy?
Typically, cats should avoid dairy altogether because it offers no health benefits, and it can cause health issues in cats. For instance, cow’s milk is the main ingredient in whipped cream. While cow’s milk may have less sugar and fat than whipped cream, cow’s milk still contains too much lactose for a cat to handle. Additionally, cow’s milk can contain emulsifiers, such as carrageenan, which is not good for cats.
Alternative kinds of milk like soy, almond, etc., are also not great for cats. Cats do not naturally consume nuts or soy in the wild, so their bodies often do not digest it well. Additionally, these types of milk often contain other additives that can fluctuate a cat’s blood sugar, cause weight gain, etc. While these alternative milks do not contain dairy, the other ingredients are not worth the risk of giving it to a cat.
Whipped cream is not an ideal treat for cats because it is not good for their health. Whipped cream contains lactose that cats cannot digest, sugar that causes weight gain and other potentially harmful ingredients. It would be best to find a different, healthy treat for cats to eat.
- BondVet, ‘Can Cats Eat Sweets: What You Should Know About Cats and Sugary Treats’, https://bondvet.com/b/can-cats-eat-sweets-what-you-should-know-about-cats-and-sugary-treats, Accessed – 7 May 2021
- Fetch by WebMD, ‘Feline Diabetes: Symptoms, Treatments, Prevention, and Diet Tips’, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/feline-diabetes-symptoms-treatments-prevention-diet#1, Accessed – 7 May 2021
- VCA Hospitals, ‘Overweight, Obesity, and Pain in Cats: Prevention and Action Plans’, https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/overweight-obesity-and-pain-in-cats-prevention-and-action-plans, Accessed – 7 May 2021
- Fetch by WebMD, ‘Slideshow: Foods Your Cat Should Never Eat’, https://pets.webmd.com/cats/ss/slideshow-foods-your-cat-should-never-eat, Accessed – 7 May 2021